The box turtle is an interesting little creature. When it senses danger, it not only retreats into its shell; it closes the ends up.
How often I have felt like doing just that. However, I've found there is a better way of handling threats to our safety than running away from them. We can turn to God in prayer and find Him to be our true security.
Because you are God's spiritual son or daughter, He protects and cares for you. You are precious to God. Where God is - and He is everywhere - there is no room for fear.
Christian Science, the Science that underlies the teachings of Christ Jesus, has given me a great appreciation for the Bible and shown me the many lessons it holds for each of us. For example, the Bible tells how the prophet Elisha was a man whose love of God protected him. The king of Syria was afraid of Elisha and thought he was a spy. And the king sent soldiers on horses and in chariots to surround Elisha and his servant. His servant was fearful, but Elisha did not panic or try to run away during this threat; he prayed instead for his servant to be comforted. He told him, "Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." And then "the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha" (II Kings 6:16, 17).
They were kept completely safe and protected by God, who is Love. Elisha's motives were pure and good; he had no intention of harming those soldiers, and they were not harmed. His innocent intentions were part of his protection.
Day-to-day troubles can seem to be a lot like those soldiers on horseback, about to overtake us. Yet we can do just as Elisha did. That is, we can rely on God, who is both our Father and our Mother, for security and care. God is All. God is ever present. God's love for you and me is constant. So, when we turn to God in prayer and know that He is with us, there is no reason for us to be fearful. He truly is caring for you and me just as he cared for Elisha and his servant.
"Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, discusses why we can take a stand against fear: "Human sense may well marvel at discord, while, to a diviner sense, harmony is the real and discord the unreal. We may well be astonished at sin, sickness, and death. We may well be perplexed at human fear; and still more astounded at hatred, which lifts its hydra head, showing its horns in the many inventions of evil. But why should we stand aghast at nothingness?" (Pg. 563)
When we understand the complete control God holds in our lives, it is not hard to trust Him and therefore to find that even the darkest evil has no power or actuality. Evil doesn't have a chance to exist in the presence of God. Much the way turning on a light eliminates the darkness, turning to thoughts of God eliminates fear and discord.
Then, we don't ever need to retreat in fear. We only need to understand that we are in the very presence of divine Love. This Love is the only thing that truly can surround us.
Once when I was a teenager, I was riding home late one night with a group of friends in a car. Another car full of kids came up alongside of us and tried to run us off the highway. I recall praying, remembering that God loved and cared for all of us. The other car again tried the same thing, but did not succeed in hitting us. After two or three times, those kids stopped trying and went on their way.
When I arrived home, my mother was up. She said, "I felt you were in trouble, and I have been praying for you!" I will never forget how loved I felt, and I knew it was the power of God's love that had been keeping us all safe.
This love of God for us will never change. There will never be any circumstance where we will be apart from God. We exist in the presence of divine Love, which gives far more security than a turtle shell ever could.